I had two beautiful, healthy plants that I brought out to the garden on Sunday. Monday I returned to the plot and found them wilted and sunburned and just generally looking miserable. They obviously didn't enjoy their first day under the sun.
I know about hardening off seedlings. The process is simple: Set plants outside for a few hours, then bring them back in. Set them out for a few hours more the next day, then bring them back in, and so on, until they've adapted to the sunlight, wind, and fluctuating temperatures of the outdoors. But since I live in an apartment, setting plants outside, for me, means walking them four blocks away to our plot. And sometimes it's hard for me to get out to the plot once a day, let alone twice. Four blocks isn't a lot, but it's not exactly as convenient as setting plants out the back door.
So when my seedlings go out, they go out. For good. I put them in what I call the "transitional zone," tucked next to a clump of daffodils. That gives them at least a little protection from the elements, which works well for some plants, but not so well for others. Obviously. I need to do better.